Monday, April 2, 2012

Salmon Cakes

It's 9 p.m. and this is the first moment today that I've actually been able to sit down and write.  Despite how it may seem, I look more forward to blogging than ever, it's just a matter of making the time to do it properly.  I've been running again, and it feels so good, so all my spontaneous free time seems to go to that (especially when someone else is here to help with baby.  The jogging stroller works but boy is it tough to push around) and I just haven't been good about forcing myself to form coherent blog thoughts.
But here I am!  With a great little weeknight dinner for you.
First, a little baby update.  She is SIX MONTHS OLD, you guys. Six months. That takes my breath away. I can't really put into words what that feels like.
Today she and I went downtown and she participated in her very first psychology experiment!  She got to look at a screen and have her eyes tracked. She did great (apparently she looks left and right quite quickly, which I assume means she's a super genius) and left with this cool tshirt!
 Then we hung out at the public library. She's getting pretty good at this sitting up thing!
 She has been practicing feeding herself, which might be the must fun part of having her around to date.  That and the giggles.
 Since spring (summer?) has decided to visit us so incredibly early this year, I've filled the house with flowers.  These tulips make the kitchen table cheery, especially with a stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning. (Did you know pancakes freeze beautifully? Make a ton and freeze what you don't use for a last minute supper or snack.)
 It's hard to tell, but the bottom blossom here is lighter yellow with a red border. Watching spring bulbs come up has been such a great part of buying a house; they are a constant surprise and welcome sign of spring.
 Most of the narcissus have faded, but this sweet one was still in good shape and brightens up my kitchen sink, along with the ivy my sister gave me in a hand-painted terra cotta pot.  
 And as you saw yesterday, the lilacs are coming up, and I have a few blossoms in the bathroom.  There is not a better smell to wake up to!
Yesterday I drank another Shaktea kombucha, the ginger blueberry flavor.  So fizzy and refreshing.  Great in the weirdly hot weather we've had.
I have been on the lookout for super easy dinners to throw together in that window between the end of work and baby's bedtime. These salmon cakes are easy and my husband always raves about them. (I don't talk about his role in my cooking enough on here. He's one part supportive partner and one part critic, which I very much appreciate. Hearing him say "This is GREAT!" never, ever looses its appeal.)
They're a great way to get a little seafood in your diet without too much fuss.  The recipe is easy to modify to your needs/preferences, too.  You could make this with just about any cooked fish.

Salmon Cakes
based on (but greatly modified from) this recipe

1.5 c. cooked salmon (I use this. Its wild caught and cheap)
2 c. whole wheat panko
2 eggs
3 green onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves
1/2 c. mayo
2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tbsp. hot sauce (I use Frank's)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 yellow onion, grated.  

 Lightly beat the eggs, and combine them with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, stirring just enough to combine them.
 Form into patties.
 Fry! We do it in butter.
 We served them up with a simple herbed aioli.  I pounded a couple garlic cloves in the mortar and pestle, added handfuls of green onions and herbs from the garden, and seasoned it well with salt and pepper and lemon juice.
 Serve the cakes with the aioli.  It's creamy, a little spicy from the raw garlic, and fresh from the herbs.
 We ate it with some squash and fresh red peppers dipped in the aioli.
 Crispy cakes and smooth aioli.  Tasty and easy.
I hope you'll give this easy dinner a try.  Tell me, what's growing where you are? We're almost a full month ahead of things here, and it's starting to feel like summer out there.


Karrey said...

She already looks so much bigger than the last time I saw her! She'll be 18 before you know it! :D

Where are you getting that kombucha? I've been pleased with the Synergy I get at the co-op, but I'd love to try new flavor combos.

Carrie said...

I knew this baby was a genius -- she gets that from John. Her winning personality and penchant for giggles, she gets from me.

Alicia said...

Karrey, don't say that! I got the kombucha directly from the owner. It's from Fairfield and they used to have it in the Co-op and I'm not sure why they don't any more. Try contacting their Facebook page! They're really responsive and will get back to you I'm sure. It's all super good. I'm hoarding the strawberry.
Carrie, spoken like the proudest auntie ever.

Linda said...

The salmon cakes look delish - you're going to have a treasure trove of wonderful recipes to share with you lil girl. She's getting quite big!

Rachel Lewis said...

Oh wow these look delicious! I had completely forgotten about salmon cakes, crab cakes and the like, your recipe looks amazing and now I want some! I will just have to figure out a gluten free alternative that actually makes everything stick instead of the panko.

~T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~T said...

Is the serving size on this for 2 people? I've got some cans of salmon we need to eat up and perhaps this is just the thing for it. Thinking of making this next week w/ substituting some gluten free bread crumbs! ;p

Alicia said...

Linda, thanks for checking in :) It's been too long. Yes, baby girl is getting quite big, and I can't wait to cook with her!

Rachel, thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll give them a try! I can't suggest anything based on experience since I am not GF, but here are a few options:
1) Put GF oats into a food processor and pulse until they are similar in consistency to breadcrumbs.
2) Make your own GF breadcrumbs with GF waffles or bread. Just cut up, season, and toast. Once they cool, grind them up in in the food processor.
3) Grind up a rice or corn cereal.
If I were making this for a GF friend I'd use the bread since it's the closest in texture, but it's probably the most expensive of the options. Good luck, and please report back with your experiences!

Tracy, we make these for the two of us for dinner and rarely have leftovers :) How many you get depends on how big you make your cakes. We usually make them the size of my palm and get 5. Let me know what you end up using for breadcrumbs!

Rachel Lewis said...

Hi Alicia! Thanks for the suggestions. We went with breaking up and toasting some GF buns we had on hand to make some breadcrumbs. It worked pretty well, other than the fact that our food processor is a stick blender, and so didn't do a very good job of making the crumbs properly fine.

We have had some good results using oats before, but in meatballs. I figured the salmon's delicate texture would probably not allow me to get away with that this time.

One last adjustment we made was to use one teaspoon of hot sauce rather than two tablespoons. Do you really like them that hot?! or are you using something other than a Tabasco type hot sauce?

Other than that, we stuck to your recipe and they were so flavorful and good! No problems with them falling apart either. We might actually have to reduce some of the flavorings next time though, as a lot of the gluten free condiments tend to have a stronger flavor. Our mayonnaise especially has quite a kick to it.

Thanks again for the wonderful meal idea! Very seasonal.

~T said...

One other question, did you use mayo or yogurt as the base for your aioli? Will let you know how it turns out!

Alicia said...

Thank you so much for checking back, and am very glad to hear that the breadcrumbs worked out. We use Franks, and yeah, we like it pretty hot :) Would you believe me if I told you we usually sprinkle a little extra on top, too? Glad you could adjust it to your liking and hope that these cakes become a regular around your house. When we don't feel like doing much, it's the perfect dinner.
Also, you can always underseason and fry up a small cake to taste. That way you'll use just what you need.
Tracy, I used mayo, sorry for not pointing that out! We use vegenaise! Can't wait to hear.

~T said...

Ok, so we made this last weekend with a few changes. Substituted greek yogurt for the mayo, increased the serving size for three. We used gluten free bread, toasted it, then cut it up into chunks instead of the panko. The overall consensus was we're definitely keeping this recipe. The patties didn't hold together as well as it looks like yours did in the pic - so I'm wondering if it isn't a difference in the GF bread - will probably try adding a bit more next time and see if they hold up better. This was also quite salty for our taste, and I think we'll totally eliminate the salt next time and probably reduce the Old Bay as well. B commented more than once that he definitely wants to see this in our meal rotation again though, so THANKS for another tasty recipe to add to our collection!

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